The Franchising Code provides that a party, who has issued another party with a Notice in respect of a dispute, can request an ADR practitioner to arrange an ADR process if the dispute is not resolved within 21 days of giving the Notice to the other party.

The Code defines an ADR process as Conciliation or Mediation, which are both forms of assisted negotiation. However, neither ADR process of Conciliation or Mediation is defined in Code.

Once the ADR practitioner sets the date and time for the ADR process, then both parties:

  • must attend the ADR process,
  • must negotiate in good faith,
  • must pay half of the mediation fees.

The ADR process must be conducted in Australia and may be conducted by virtual attendance technology. This is any technology that allows a person to attend an ADR process without being physically present at the ADR process.

We use professional quality video-conferencing technologies provided by Cisco WEBEX or ZOOM to deliver a seamless dispute resolution session for the parties, who can be located anywhere in Australia (or internationally). Using virtual attendance technology also allows the ADR practitioner the flexibility to arrange for the parties to meet in different sessions at different times.

A party is taken to attend an ADR process if the party is represented in the ADR process by a person who has the authority to enter an agreement to settle the dispute on behalf of that party. The Code requires that, as part of the ADR process, the parties must try to resolve the dispute in good faith.